U.S. Latinos–Puerto Ricans and Cuban–Americans excepted in specific instances—have had limited impact on U.S. policy toward Latin America because they lack the interest and the resources to do so, and the capacity to act in concert for foreign policy purposes. Moreover, Latinos as a category do not have a shared Latin American foreign policy agenda. To the extent that they engage at all in the foreign policy arena, they typically do so in relation to their countries of origin. In many cases, however, they dislike the government of their homeland. In those relatively rare cases when U.S. Latino elites have sought to influence U.S. foreign policy, they have characteristically followed the lead of the U.S. government instead of seeking to change the main features of U.S. policy toward Latin America. This paper considers several case studies: the Puerto Rican influence on the Alliance for Progress; the Cuban–American influence on U.S. policy toward Cuba; the Mexican–American behavior relative to the enactment of NAFTA and U.S.–Mexican migration negotiations in 2001; and the Central American impact on U.S. immigration policies in the mid–1990s.
Domínguez, Jorge I. "Latinos and U.S. Foreign Policy." Working Paper 06–05, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, May 2006.